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I am intending on authoring a role playing game (RPG) and was wondering which LaTeX packages I should use. I have most of the useful PDF packages installed: bookmarks, graphicx, etc..

Pen and paper role playing games have a wide range for formatting mostly adding tables, graphics (images, maps, etc...), and text. The latter can be in-character fiction, generic descriptions, and game rules. Some have layouts that are genra specific (for example, science fiction will have a printed circuit board border between two columns). A good example of layout would be Eclipse Phase which you can get here -- creative commons.

The main book layout seems to do most of what I need it to. However, I have seen the memoir class that seems to more more suitable but I have had no experience in using it. Does anyone?

For indexes, I use the makeidx package, is there anything better?

Any other suggestions of packages that would be helpful for authoring RPGs?

Nothing is wrong with what I am currently using, I am just looking for people who have done the same kind of things for something "better" than the default.

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migrated from rpg.stackexchange.com Jul 27 '11 at 11:52

This question came from our site for gamemasters and players of tabletop, paper-and-pencil role-playing games.

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hopefully this won't get me in trouble, but for a 5 volume set I would use GlOvE and for a single volume maybe CoNdOM runs and hides –  GMNoob Jul 27 '11 at 10:57
    
@GMnoob, only if that one volume can be expended and srunk on the fly... ;> –  Sardathrion Jul 27 '11 at 11:41
    
You use LaTeX packages for some particular purpose. You're going to have to tell us what specific purposes you have in mind in order for us to be able to give you useful advice. What do you need packages to do? What isn't currently working? –  Seamus Jul 27 '11 at 11:53
    
@seamus: Does any edit makes the question more clear? –  Sardathrion Jul 27 '11 at 12:24
    
Welcome to TeX.sx! Using the memoir class is probably a good choice (I never used it myself before). There is also the so called "Koma-Script" bundle i.e. the scrbook class. Do you only need one index or multiple different ones? Looking at the linked books I see a lot of things TeX could do but only using a lot of tricks. Maybe a DTP software would be better suited for this purpose. –  Martin Scharrer Jul 27 '11 at 12:33

2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Tables

There are any number of packages for improving the look of tables and adding extra functionality. Here is an excellent summary.

If you want sideways tables, the rotating packge's sidewaystable environment might be useful.

If you're building a big book, you probably don't want to recompile for every time you make some change to a big table. The standalone package allows you to keep the big table in a separate file which can be compiled separately.

Graphics

Including pictures can easily be done with the graphics or graphicx packages.

Drawing your own diagrams can be achieved with tikz or with pstricks.

Adding a background image to the page could be achieved with eso-pic. (I think, I haven't tested this).

Large scale formatting

As Martin mentioned in the comments, memoir is a nice package for typesetting books. Given that your aim is to present information, rather than be bound by the niceities of typograhical convention, KOMA-script's scrbook might be more easily customisable, though this is a matter of taste.

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Memoir is indeed the package to use. Its learning curve is very steep indeed but once you know how to use it, it is awesome. –  Sardathrion Jul 30 '11 at 13:12

Looking at the packages listed in one RPG I have made, I use the book documentclass, I load dcolumn, a4wide, longtable, wasysym, makeidx and epsfig.

I have all my tables in separate files, following a tab*.tex naming convention and bundle them all up as a separate "all the tables" document in addition to including them in their proper place in the main rules.

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+1 Now, that is a good idea indeed for your tables. –  Sardathrion Jul 27 '11 at 12:57
    
@Sardathrion: Indeed. And LaTeX makes it so easy. –  Vatine Jul 27 '11 at 14:19

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